Published on November 17th, 2015 | by Joshua New

Deciding with Data: How Society Can Use Algorithms to Make Better Choices

Using software to solve complex problems by analyzing data—known as algorithmic decision-making—offers incredible potential for the public and private sectors to operate more effectively, efficiently, and equitably. For example, the technology has helped streamline wait lists for life-saving organ transplants, improve policing by predicting crime hotspots, and better target charitable giving to the poorest households in rural Kenya.

Despite these benefits, skeptics argue algorithmic decision-making will be inherently exploitative, discriminatory, or simply unreliable, and thus in need of greater government oversight. But countless real-world examples of algorithms unlocking tremendous social and economic benefits indicate otherwise: algorithms can be more effective and less biased than humans when it comes to making important decisions.

Join the Center for Data Innovation for a panel discussion about how public and private sector leaders are using algorithms to make better decisions and what an increasingly data-driven world means for the future of algorithmic decision-making.

Date and Time:

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM (EST)


  • 1101 K St NW, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20005


  • Courtney Bowman, Co-Director of Privacy and Civil Liberties Engineering, Palantir Technologies
  • Madeleine Clare Elish, Researcher, Intelligence and Autonomy Initiative, Data & Society
  • Greg Godbout, Chief Technology Officer and U.S. Digital Services Lead, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Joshua New, Policy Analyst, Center for Data Innovation (Moderator)
  • Bob Sutor, Vice President of Business Solutions and Mathematical Sciences, IBM Research

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About the Author

Joshua New is a policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation. He has a background in government affairs, policy, and communication. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, Joshua graduated from American University with degrees in C.L.E.G. (Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government) and Public Communication. His research focuses on methods of promoting innovative and emerging technologies as a means of improving the economy and quality of life. Follow Joshua on Twitter @Josh_A_New.

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